Monthly Archives: June 2013


“Everyone believes in the atrocities of the enemy and disbelieves in those of his own side, without ever bothering to examine the evidence.” George Orwell

How many times have you criticized the way someone else is doing something? How many times has  “If I were running that project…”  come out of your mouth?  The truth is that we all have our filters on taking everything we do as gospel and everything “they” do as flawed.  

Take the time to understand the other person’s needs and requirements.  Ask the hard questions of your client.  And ask the hard questions of yourself.  Are you really listening, or are you listening through your own filters?  



“The guy may be totally motivated, connected, and inspired, but if he doesn’t know how to do it, he’s not the guy to take out your appendix.”  Robert Genn

Have you ever been at those business functions where the charismatic motivational speaker whips you up in a frenzy?  You’re ready to do whatever it takes.  You’re fired up! Of course that’s why the speaker was brought in. But that’s only half of the equation.

Success is a meeting at the corner of opportunity and preparation.  Are you prepared?  Did you do some professional reading today?  If you’re motivated but not competent for the task, you will be passed over time and time again.

I regularly read on a wide range of subjects and it’s shocking just how often something you learned about Subject A can be applied to Subject B.  It’s also shocking to find out that the more you learn, the more you realize how little you know.  Education and self improvement are a long journey that only you can take.  You will have plenty of friends and travelers with you for sections of the trip and they will teach you just as surely as books.  Some will be good examples and models.  Some will be useful by their notable excellence at being bad examples.

Make sure you do something today and every day to grow YOU and YOUR career.  You are the only person who is completely and totally interested in your career.

The Daily Read

Let’s Grow Leaders  5 Ways to Stop Excuses and Inspire Results  “Sell the bananas off the truck” is the big takeaway.  It’s hard…its VERY hard.  Stop the excuses, identify the opportunities, and make the changes to meet those opportunities.

Instant MBA When Giving Feedback, Give Criticism Between Two Positives  I’ve been hearing and practicing this for years.  Providing the positive to let the hearer know it’s not all bad is definitely valuable advice.  The problem comes from the supervisors I’ve witnessed (both as the receiver and as an observer) where the positive provided is less than sincere or completely irrelevant.  (You messed up the XYZ account but you have a clean desk.)  You have to know your people before you can practice this technique well.

Ignited Leadership Start Small “A journey of a thousand steps starts with the first.”, “How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.”  They all say the same thing: Start. Now.  Don’t let perfect get in the way of practical.  Take the first step.  The second is easier than the first.  The third is even easier, and so on…  The same point was made today at Three Star Leadership in A little progress each day




“The best way to try to motivate somebody is by being direct with them. To be honest with them. Lies are never the right way to get your message across.” Trey Parker and Matt Stone

Can you cultivate that level of transparency with your team and your customers?  You don’t have to tell them everything that’s on your mind.  Just make sure you both sincerely know you’re both on the same page and understand each other.  With that level of trust, its no longer a power driven relationship where one has to win over the other.  Instead it’s a partnership.  The word “partner” is thrown around a lot in business, but does a partnership really exist?

The Daily Read

Seth Godin: Different or Remarkable?  “If people talk about what you’re doing, it’s remarkable, by definition…the opportunity is to actually create something that people choose to talk about, regardless of what the competition is doing.”

Let’s Grow Leaders: 10 Ways to Zap Energy and Squash Enthusiasm  Reconnect with your team, give them the focus they need, and address negativity.  The biggest one that resonates with me is to be authentic, both as a leader and encouraging it in your team.  The road to the common goal can take a lot of different directions and still arrive on time and on budget.

Ramblings from a Glass Half Full:  The Most Important Word  It all boils down to “we” or “they”.  Does your team feel they “they” want this or that “we” want this? You as the leader embody that mindset for your organization, be it a team of two, a department, or a company.



“People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.” George Orwell

When you’re assessing project plans and schedules, are you watching even the things you don’t like dealing with? Do you leave the painful tasks on auto pilot? Can you see everything clearly in a 360 degree view?

We all have things that we dislike dealing with but delaying the inevitable reckoning means you have to deal with the event on its terms. What if you turn that around and deal with it proactively and on YOUR terms?